Camping with a twist

The Asian Age.  | Priyanka Chandani

With increasing popularity of camping, people look more to rejuvenate themselves while spending some tranquil moments in the lap of nature.

With increasing popularity of camping among Mumbaikars, companies are making the outdoor adventure more interesting by hiring professional entertainers.

Mumbai: Imagine you are at a camping site with your friends and you suddenly hear drumbeats, only to discover that it is your favourite musician singing songs you know and love. This is exactly what happens these days when you choose to go for camping, thanks to a clutch of companies and outdoor adventure enthusiasts that have professional entertainers coming onboard to make things more interesting.

“This trend is very new among young folks. These days people want to make their weekend more experiential and unwinding, so having professional entertainers onboard becomes a great deal for their gateway,” says Pratik Jain, the co-founder of Moonstone Hammock, who recently organised a camp with Bollywood singer Jaggi Sandhu at the campsite.

Nomad’s Camping co-founder Bhushan More, who has organised more than 30 camps with professional entertainers, adds that the trend of having professional performers onboard started with the stream of stand-up comedians.

“Generally,  every camp would have a guitarist, but people have evolved and they need something extra than just campfires and food. So it is a good idea to have some other activities done by professional artists,” Bhushan explains.

An unforgettable experience

While musical activities are over the top in every camp, some of the companies organise various workshops at the campsite during the day, followed by music and dance activities in the evening.

Literary activities like poetry and storytelling to wellness and yoga retreats are becoming common.

“These things are additional. We invite experts for these workshops and many people are interested because these things give them a beautiful venue and a short term learning,” reveals Vikrant Chheda, the founder of White Collar Hippie, that organises an experiential camp every week.

With the increasing popularity of camping, people look more to rejuvenate themselves while spending some tranquil moments in the lap of nature and some thrilling adventure activities.

At White Collar Hippie, the camping mostly includes band camps which range from indie, blues, funk, RnB, jazz to rock and pop along with bonfire, sundown barbeque and a village walk.

“We have different professional music bands performing at the camp so that people can discover different genres of music than the usual Bollywood music,” says the organiser.

A trade off

Generally, most of the campsites are stocked with hammocks, books, and games to ensure that there is something for everyone. But bringing together multiple experiences to serenade the campers all night long is not an easy task for the organisers.

From finding the right musical act, magician, dancer or stand up comic, the organisers negotiate with the artist to manage costs as not many campers are open to paying big bucks.

“We need to negotiate with the artist and also we increase the price for that particular camping trip. The concept of bringing professional artist onboard is to increase your brand value and when a big artist comes, it is a win-win situation for both,” says Pratik, explaining that a big artist helps pulling more people at the same time it gives the artist a platform to connect with fans. 

“When they perform in a huge crowd, they generally don’t get complete attention. But in a  smaller crowd, everyone is attentive to their performance,” Pratik elucidates.

According to Bhushan, it is a matter of give and take for both the parties. “We tie up with artists and they at times charge, but if they are not well established then they go with social media barter because they have huge fan following,” explains Bhushan and adds that the artists get to meet a lot of people and they tend to get more shows with those contacts.

Similarly, city-based poet and regular performer at camps, Kunal Jhawar, also agrees that at times, it is a barter deal for organisers and performers.

“Sometimes organisers would pay, but if you are getting introduced to some camp for the first time then they will take care of the food and stay. With that, the artist gets exposure to new people. It becomes an experience for the artist as well,” says Kunal in conclusion.